With a passion that only comes with witnessing injustice first-hand, four Mexican human rights defenders shared the stories of their struggles with members of the Carleton community, March 9. The four spoke about their efforts to fight for the rights of Mexicans to a crowd of about 50 as part of “No Más Sangre,” a conference series organized by Carleton and several Canadian universities and human rights organizations like Amnesty International Canada. “No Más Sangre” translates to “No More Blood.” The slogan was taken from the current name of the human rights movement in Mexico, said Laura Macdonald, an event organizer and Carleton political science professor. “Blood represents suffering and pain and we have to work towards not having more,” said speaker Alberto Carrasco, director of the Casa del Migrante shelter in Saltillo, Mexico. Over the past week, the four have travelled from Mexico to five cities in Eastern Canada and Ontario to raise awareness and consciousness about the extent of human rights violations in Mexico. Through the use of translators, the speakers talked about how they’re individually affected by the dangerous situation in their country. “In Mexico, we’re living in a moment of emergency,” Carrasco said. “Violence has increased incredibly.” A strict immigration policy is making it difficult for poor migrants from other countries to immigrate legally to Mexico, he explained. Immigrants arrive through the unregulated southern border and try to be ‘invisible’ to organized crime and the authorities. “They think of themselves as criminals,” said Carrasco, adding many of these immigrants end up abducted, tortured and kidnapped for ransoms, or sexually exploited. Yolanda Isais spoke on behalf of United Forces for our Disappeared in Mexico (FUUNDEM), an organization formed by families whose relatives have disappeared. Isais’ son is one of them. Isais, who has received death threats for her human rights work, said about 18,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, with the majority being between the ages of 18 to 32. Even the military and police are responsible for kidnapping and raping abductees, she said. Bodies are dumped in large mass graves in a way she compared to concentration camps. “For the government, our disappeared children do not exist,” said Isais, while holding up a picture of a bulldozer excavating a mass grave. Dolores Saravia, another speaker, said the event is targeted at the academic community and university students to deepen the comprehension of the situation. “I learned a lot,” said third-year sociology student Inna Riabko. Riabko, who heard about the event through a humanitarian group on Facebook, said “with the crimes that are happening, the speakers are very brave to come out here.” “This is the first step to starting a dialogue,” Saravia said of the conference series. “The problem goes beyond borders so we need to engage internationally to understand how we can change things.”
Afortunadamente hay todavía mucha gente que lucha en contra de la injusticia que se vive en México, es una pena que tengan que salir del país para hacerse escuchar, pero todo se vale. Desde esta página le mando una trompetilla a nuestro tibio presidente y toda su corte celestial…..
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